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Social Networks The Internet Privacy

One In Five Employers Scan Applicants' Web Lives 566

Posted by timothy
from the other-four-are-lying dept.
Ned Nederlander writes "CareerBuilder's new survey finds: 'Of those hiring managers who have screened job candidates via social networking profiles, one-third (34 percent) reported they found content that caused them to dismiss the candidate from consideration.' Some red flags: content about applicant using drugs or drinking, inappropriate photos and bad-mouthing former bosses."
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One In Five Employers Scan Applicants' Web Lives

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  • and... (Score:5, Funny)

    by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:39PM (#24968347)
    Posting to /.
    • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kent_eh (543303) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:08PM (#24968779)
      I expect if someone actually posted online using their real name, they should expect someone to find those postings and use them against the poster.

      I'm constantly surprised that so many people post stupid shit about themselves using their full real name.

      Also, just for fun, I googled my real name (which is not especially common) and I found three other prople who share the same name in the top 5 hits. The real me appeared once in the top 10 (I was interviewed by a newspaper as part of a charity event several years ago)

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:20PM (#24968979)
        And only an idiot would film themselves committing a crime, and it would take an even bigger idiot to post that video to the Internet, and...
        • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheSeventh (824276) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:58PM (#24969625)
          Pictures of applicants drinking?

          "Look, this guy is at a restaurant and there's a beer on the table. Better not hire that one, must be a lush!"
          • Re:and... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Firehed (942385) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:13PM (#24969825) Homepage

            No, more like people doing actual stupid shit [youtube.com] (not a rickroll, promise).

          • Re:and... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by barzok (26681) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:57PM (#24971449)

            At a previous job one of the applicants I interviewed had put his personal web page on his resume - entry-level job, we were looking for someone straight out of college.

            The kid didn't get the job, but after we decided we didn't want to make him an offer, we took a look at his page. It was almost exclusively pictures of him drinking, hanging out in bars and fraternities, etc. Just confirmed our decision.

            What you do on your own time is your business, but pictures like that are not a good first impression. Perhaps if he'd written an interesting web app to display those pictures, it'd have given us some idea of his skills. But nope - just basic HTML & thumbnails pointing to the full-size pictures.

            Putting pictures of yourself drinking online - maybe foolish.
            Handing a prospective employer the URL to those pictures on YOUR RESUME? That's just stupid.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hedwards (940851)

              Right, I personally post under pseudonyms so that I can post stupid things or things which might upset people without having to worry about it reflecting poorly on the employer.

              I see career advisers suggesting to people that they create a web presence, but the thing is that you have to be really careful about doing so and that anything you post can potentially come back to haunt you if you're not careful about it. Just because you're OK with whatever it is doesn't mean that a potential employer or client is

          • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:59PM (#24971505) Homepage Journal
            "Pictures of applicants drinking?

            "Look, this guy is at a restaurant and there's a beer on the table. Better not hire that one, must be a lush!"

            I don't think that this is the problem, but, if you've put out fun pix of yourself half nekkid, with a half empty bottle of Jack in one hand, and a skull bong in the other one....you're likely to get passed over for a job, or these days...cheap insurance, a security clearance, or hell, it could affect your credit rating probably at some point.

            And sadly, I hope you're never running for public office....once on the internet, this kind of stuff will haunt you for life.

            On the other hand, if you keep your life private, well, this type of thing may give you an advantage, and let other people take themselves out of competition for jobs, etc...

            • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Damek (515688) <adam@da m e k.org> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @07:37PM (#24972077) Homepage

              [blah blah] or hell, it could affect your credit rating probably at some point.

              And sadly, I hope you're never running for public office....once on the internet, this kind of stuff will haunt you for life.

              I hope to hell people doing these things just keep doing them because, hopefully, non-existent deity willing, in short order none of this will matter and people will shrug. "Oh, he drinks and smokes? Well that doesn't indicate he's a bad worker and I do half of that myself so whatever."

              Because really, f*#@#&ing puritans. Most people *DO* do this stuff and live well enough as it is. The fact that people have to hide the way most people live a reasonable life is just rediculous. Closeted humanity, look at yourself and accept it. Even the most pious do drugs and drink.

              What *MATTERS* is billing your state for your housing costs or making money off of energy subsidies. THESE are the important things.

          • Re:and... (Score:4, Funny)

            by Samah (729132) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @08:16PM (#24972531)
            Especially if the beer is VB.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by skuzzlebutt (177224)

        I have the dubious honor of having the same name as a...um...minor celebrity who definitely outranks me in Google hits. NSFW: visit my domain below, but take out the "d". Then, go rinse your eyes.

      • Re:and... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Kneo24 (688412) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:20PM (#24969935) Homepage

        I've done this a few times looking at applicants who kind of seemed a little... seedy. I just looked at their contact information. Saw that they had an e-mail address. Then I said to myself, "Hey! What happens if I google the everything before the @ in their e-mail address?". If I didn't see anything on the first page that actually related to the person in question, then I didn't pass on their resume and application. Remember, not all employers are stupid.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745)

          But apparently you are.
          The front part of the email is not unique to any one person. I ahve a specific email name for employers. It gets routed and flagged Immediate. You would not find the left side of the email address on the front page of a Google search.

          However, you test would make it trivially easy for anyone to game your interview process.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I agree, poster beware. It's like women who wear low-cut tops and short skirts then complain that guys check out their gear.
      • I'll bite... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by afxgrin (208686)

        ...cause I'm totally fucked.

        I posted a whole bunch of shit on various internet sites over the years. Everything from illicit drug usage, to my odd political leanings - and totally doing it under my real name (or nickname that can easily be traced to my real name). I honestly felt I hit the point of no return and just started to embrace the fact I'm not anonymous, and I'm all over the fucking place.

        I have a love/hate relationship with Google - I love being able to find any piece of information I want quickl

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by demonlapin (527802)

          Anyone who judges someone from a bunch of random postings online when it comes to a job really needs to rethink their priorities.

          Why? You have already demonstrated that you have poor impulse control and an inability to do something and keep your mouth shut about it. I don't really care if my employees smoke weed on their own time, but I sure as hell wouldn't hire somebody who walks in with pot-leaf t-shirts and has a bunch of bong-smoke photos on their website.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by afxgrin (208686)

            meh. guess I need I need to get a job with high times magazine or someone equally apathetic to such acts.

            Impulse control - heh - not every act in life should be handled with restraint. Sometimes the impulse like act is the most important. There are sooooooo many impulse based acts that I would never in a million years regret... other ones... maybe I would.

            What if someone who comes in with a pot-leaf t-shirt teaches you somethings that you had a) never heard of before and b) demonstrate how to make it pro

  • Only 20%?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by francisstp (1137345) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:40PM (#24968353) Homepage
    Why does every manager not screen all applicants? Takes 5 minutes.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:54PM (#24968593)

      Any manager who scans the supposed web life of an applicant is a complete idiot if they can't verify that what they are looking at is authenticated to the applicant.

      Let me put it simply. Send me your real name and address. I'll guarantee that I'll trash any job potential you have with one of these hiring managers.

      Which might actually be a good thing, since any such manager has probably also populated the place with fellow idiots.

      I've been a victim myself of a web smear campaign, and I can tell you that it's no fun. Plus it will stay around forever, depending on how it's done.

    • Re:Only 20%?? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:02PM (#24968689) Journal
      Your resume likely gets 20 to 30 seconds of eyeball time when a manager or recruiter is scanning through a pile of resumes looking for potential interview candidates. At some point down the line, when the field is down to 5 people or so, it might make sense to screen an individual applicant's web pages.

      They didn't mention which sites the hiring managers use. MySpace & Facebook are probably where you'll find lots of recent HS/college grads, but what about older professionals who aren't as likely to use those sites? I hear that a significant number of recruiters actually use linkedin.com as a recruiting tool.
      • Re:Only 20%?? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fishbowl (7759) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:39PM (#24969263)

        "Your resume likely gets 20 to 30 seconds of eyeball time when a manager or recruiter is scanning through a pile of resumes looking for potential interview candidates."

        Cool.... They then spend enough time on my online profile to find out that I've read as much literature as the average English Professor, they will see my publications, they will see me shaking hands with John Glenn, Tiger Teague and Ronald Reagan, they will laugh at my quotes, and then decide not to hire me because I've listed my religious view as "Episcopagan."

        Their loss!

  • Silly people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haoie (1277294) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:41PM (#24968367) Homepage

    What would you expect if you admitted you're a drunken dope user on Facebook? An award for honesty?

    And the logic of posting photos of yourself in compromising situations online: There is none.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lee1026 (876806)

      Problem is, all it takes is for one of your friends to post something.....

      • by MrMr (219533)
        I find your concept of friend slightly worrying.
      • Re:Silly people (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:06PM (#24968733) Homepage

        Of course, you could simply not get so wasted they can take those pictures. You could choose not to smoke illegal substances.

        You know, act like the responsible person that you want to be seen as.

        You could choose your friends better. I'm not sure how much I'd think of "friends" who post pictures of others out of control on public web pages just to humiliate them.

        You could always not use Facebook, as others have pointed out.

        I agree with some of the others, like the GPP (Haoie). If you post it on the public internet, don't get mad when the public reads it and judges you based on it.

        • Re:Silly people (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:33PM (#24969155) Homepage Journal

          That sounds like an awful lot of personal responsibility. I'm way too young and carefree to worry about silly things like privacy and rights and things coming to bite me in the ass later.

        • Re:Silly people (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dthrall (894750) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:47PM (#24969389)
          Prospective employee's WORK PERFORMANCE should be the measure of employment, not that person's PERSONAL life.
          • Re:Silly people (Score:4, Insightful)

            by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:00PM (#24969655) Homepage

            True. However I would argue that for a large number of people (possibly the majority) getting wasted and doped up indicates personality traits that could effect job performance (especially if you do it frequently, it wasn't a one time thing).

            Also, the illegal drugs would show you are willing to violate the law when you deem to better for you (or more fun, or whatever). I think it's a fair assumption that someone who is willing to use illegal drugs is more likely to be willing to do some other illegal activity (especially if it doesn't seem obviously harmful, like petty theft) than someone who doesn't.

            It's conjecture to a degree, yes. But to argue that your personal life never has any effect on your professional life is pointless. It can happen. And if I have 50 good candidates to sift through I'm going to do what I can to get the number down to something more manageable.

            Coming to an interview for a programming position (or some other non-client facing position) maybe it shouldn't matter that much if you come in old clothes looking unkempt. But most people don't do that, do they? They know they will be judged on that.

            You want to have pictures of yourself wasted and high on your MySpace page? That's fine. Just take them down before you go job hunting. Once you've got a position you can put them back up.

            But if they are sitting there for public consumption, don't be surprised if someone judges you on them.

            • Re:Silly people (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:28PM (#24970073)

              True. However I would argue that for a large number of people (possibly the majority) getting wasted and doped up indicates personality traits that could effect job performance (especially if you do it frequently, it wasn't a one time thing).

              The problem is, of course, that while your friends' facebook galleries might indicate that you're ocnstantly drunk and stoned at a glance the truth is probably that those three drunken pictures of you from three different parties were taken weeks or months apart, not all in the same week.

              Also, the illegal drugs would show you are willing to violate the law when you deem to better for you (or more fun, or whatever). I think it's a fair assumption that someone who is willing to use illegal drugs is more likely to be willing to do some other illegal activity (especially if it doesn't seem obviously harmful, like petty theft) than someone who doesn't.

              Considering that a lot of people have used cannabis these days it really doesn't indicate shit, especially considering a lot of intelligent people feel that the illegal status of cannabis is, quite honestly, bullshit.

              To sum up my point, judging someone based on a bunch of pictures their friends thought it would be fun to upload (most likely because the pictures in question were considered humiliating) is probably not a good idea as it says absolutely nothing about that person's work performance.

              /Mikael

              • by MBCook (132727)

                judging someone based on a bunch of pictures their friends thought it would be fun to upload (most likely because the pictures in question were considered humiliating)

                To me this would indicate that you're not choosing your friends well, which indicates a judgement problem; possibly that you're not willing to make tough calls that hurt your friends or make your life a little tougher. Perhaps that judgement (and/or friends) are your real problem. Surely the people you choose to hang out with reflect on your p

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Vancorps (746090)

              Your leap doesn't work. I know hundreds of people that smoke pot and wouldn't steal. No, you cannot infer anything about their work performance from their personal life.

              Personal lives affect everyone's job performance, how many parents have been stressed out because of their kids while at work? How many have had arguments with their significant others that impact their job performance.

              Most jobs in our world take up significant portions of our lives. Routinely my job consumes my life as I work excessive am

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Hyppy (74366)

            Prospective employee's WORK PERFORMANCE should be the measure of employment, not that person's PERSONAL life.

            Unless the prospective employee has done something quite public like write a book, it's not possible to gauge their work performance. I have yet to see a bad recommendation from a previous employer, except for the guy that got fired for threatening his boss's wife with rape.

            It seems to me like people are looking for a way out of being judged based upon their prior actions. It's not illogical to conclude that if someone is a bad person outside of work, he or she is probably not going to be a good person

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bladesjester (774793)

              It's the employer's right to use all available and legal means to determine which employee is best for the job. Being disqualified for having a facebook album dedicated to killing puppies or binge drinking is much more preferable to being disqualified for, say, not being a minority.

              That's just it. Not all employers who dig into someone being mentioned online will stick with throwing out candidates for binge drinking, setting puppies on fire, and the like.

              Some of them will do things like disqualify people b

    • Re:Silly people (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UberHoser (868520) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:47PM (#24968469)

      Yes there is logic.

      People are dumbassess. And they think it is cool to show their friends what a dumbass they are.

      Hence which is why I will NEVER sign up for myspace or facebook. Unlike most of today's generation, I do not feel the need to post my entire life up on the web. If I need to send pictures to friends, I email them.

      Putting you life out on the web will come to haunt you. The only time that it does not is if you are a ' clean cut white bread never swears drinks smokes' type of person. And really that just makes you boring as hell :D

      • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:18PM (#24968955)
        I know what you mean. I, Devin Lott, of 1056 Arbor Way, 89120, am worried that if people find out that I save cats in my spare time, they'll hold it against me because they're dog people. Or they'll find out that one night a week I save children from burning buildings instead. Or even that I volunteer at the wrong soup kitchen.

        Oh well, at least Doctors without Borders will be taking me out of the country for a year, so I won't have to worry about it until then.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by againjj (1132651)

          Or, maybe people will find out you support piracy [slashdot.org].

          (Note, in case anyone starts to get too hasty, my point is that it is easy to find stuff the Internet and take it out of context.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TrentTheThief (118302)

        But I enjoy FaceBook! It's such a wonderful alternative to visiting FARK or somethingawful.

        So many idiots, so little time. Thank goodness that there is no limit on the amount of laughing a person can do in one lifetime.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fabs64 (657132)
        It's amazing how many people go off on a rant about social networking sites like facebook without bothering to do a tiny bit of research into what privacy settings they have first.

        Here's one for ya, without a facebook account your friends posting pictures with you in them and tagging them with your name can be searched for by everyone, whereas if you had an account you could make your name un-searchable by anyone you haven't previously approved.

        Not to rain on your whole "I'm a privacy maverick" parade,
    • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:58PM (#24970517) Homepage Journal
      And the logic of posting photos of yourself in compromising situations online: There is none.

      You are quite right. If the compromising photos are interesting enough, other people will post them for you...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by itsdapead (734413)

      What would you expect if you admitted you're a drunken dope user on Facebook? An award for honesty?

      Its fine as long as it stops at that.

      However, what would you expect if you stated in an online debate that drugs should be legalized? Or if a "psychological analysis*" of your /. postings revealed that you had difficulty forming relationships, a hostile attitude to authority and a tendency to drop F-bombs?

      ...because sure as eggs is eggs, companies will start to outsource this work to "profiling" services who will apply zero-intelligence keyword searches and pseudo-psychology to the job - and witch hunter

  • Employees'(or prospective employees') personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information as per professional interview guidelines(such as listing interests on a resume' or answering an interviewer's questions).

    Ideally, the prospective employee should be warned in print and verify with a signature, as is done with credit and other background checks, that their name will be googled as part of the application process

    Done right, it could be a positiv
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:45PM (#24968433) Homepage Journal

      You are using the wrong word.
      Your private life should be off limits.
      What you do in public is public. Having people judge you by how you act in public is they way that the world works.
      But guess what poor judgment will effect your life.

      • by fishbowl (7759) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:10PM (#24968819)

        >What you do in public is public.

        Yes. And why would you bother doing anything for an employer who is petty enough to hold your web presence against you?

        At my jobs, the people I've worked for have been into me for who I am.

        Somebody checks my facebook page or whatever, it's what it's there for. Somebody has a *problem* with what they find there, they can kiss my ass, and I'd be man enough to say it point blanc even to a boss or prospective boss.

        And speaking as a boss, I might do something like this just to test you to see if you have enough integrity to stand up for yourself. If you have a lot of counterculture / political stuff on your shirt sleeve, and you try to pretend to be someone else, I have NO respect for that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602)

          Yes. And why would you bother doing anything for an employer who is petty enough to hold your web presence against you?

          Think of it more as an employer who uses how you act in public as part of the selection process. Given three otherwise identical candidates, with equivalent resumes: one has a facebook page with pictures of him lighting his ass hair on fire, the 2nd has some generic pictures of him teaching his kids to ride a bike, the 3rd has a pictorial walkthru on how to mod a PS3 to run DOS and use a Wi

    • by ricebowl (999467) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:46PM (#24968453)

      Employees'(or prospective employees') personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information as per professional interview guidelines(such as listing interests on a resume' or answering an interviewer's questions).

      Why? The information's both public and readily available. If someone's application for employment is dismissed because they appear to be a drunken stoner that enjoys whining about former employers then...why should the prospective employer not be aware of it?

      If it was something that they obtained through the use of private detectives, or contacting previous employers then, maybe, fair enough the applicant should be warned. But if they're stupid enough to post any form of incriminating material online what makes you think they'd heed the warning in the first place?

      • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:14PM (#24968889)

        If someone's application for employment is dismissed because they appear to be a drunken stoner that enjoys whining about former employers then...why should the prospective employer not be aware of it?

        What if it's something a little less stereotypical? Say you're a political activist of some stripe. If you are publicly active in the pro-X movement, do you want to be dismissed for a job consideration because the guy checking your resume is anti-X?

        I agree that anyone who posts truly embarrassing information online is an idiot. However, the idea that one must balance their freedom to express themselves under their own name against the possibility of offending a prospective employer is chilling and repugnant, IMHO. Not that the Web created that dynamic, but it certainly makes it a bit more pervasive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      Actually it's not exactly legal in quite a few US states, (Illinois for example) it can be grounds for discrimination suits. I know of plenty of employers who have been sued for that. Warned in print is not an exception.

      However, most people are smart enough to hide their facebook/etc. As a safe bet people should just google themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Done right, it could be a positive thing -- the employee could be asked,"Is there anything online that you don't want me to see?" and a decision to hire(or not) would be based on the level of the interviewee's honesty

      Great, so when the perspective employee says, "No, don't look online under my name," they'll be pretty much dismissed on the idea that they're hiding things. No problem there.

      How about people just stop posting pictures of themselves and their friends smoking pot on the internet? It's really retarded. Putting your "private life" on MySpace and expecting it to stay private is like running an ad in the newpaper about your "private life" and then getting upset when people know about it.

      Actions have consequ

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MBCook (132727)

      ... personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information...

      Now I'm leaving out a bit of your quote, but let's be reasonable here. Once you post pictures of yourself doing something on the public internet, that picture isn't private any more.

      Posting that picture is voluntarily disclosing the information.

      To say otherwise is just that "I want to be able to do whatever I want and not be judged by it" nonsense that no one above the age of ~5 should reasonably b

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:43PM (#24968395) Journal
    This summary leaves out the entire second half of the article:

    On the other hand, social networking profiles gave some job seekers an edge over the competition. Twenty-four percent of hiring managers who researched job candidates via social networking sites said they found content that helped to solidify their decision to hire the candidate. Top factors that influenced their hiring decision included:

    • 48% - candidate's background supported their qualifications for the job
    • 43% - candidate had great communication skills
    • 40% - candidate was a good fit for the company's culture
    • 36% - candidate's site conveyed a professional image
    • 31% - candidate had great references posted about them by others
    • 30% - candidate showed a wide range of interests
    • 29% - candidate received awards and accolades
    • 24% - candidate's profile was creative

    Some of the numbers on this article have to be wrong ... 22% shared sensitive information from their prior employer ... ?! What could that be?

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Exactly. If people Google my name my photography website comes up and that is a GOOD thing.
    • by lordofthechia (598872) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:08PM (#24968787)

      So...

      Step 1: Keep a professional "personal" site up where you praise your prior employers and you extol the virtues of work and your pride in your accomplishments at your job.
      Step 2: (Optional) Keep a separate social site for your friends (which doesn't explicitly list you by name), also set to private.
      Step 3: Get the names of the other applicants and set them up facebook accounts where they list their exploits stealing office supplies, being lazy/napping on the job, and taking pot breaks/drinking at work. Extra Credit for including the phrase "Man, I was so WASTED at work the other day!" anywhere in their profile.
      Step 4: ???*
      Step 5: Hired!

      * Depending on state, Step 4 may be "Get sued for libel" (Do not go to step 5, do not collect a monthly paycheck).

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:44PM (#24968409)

    You don't think this is my real name do you?

    No, this is the name of my mortal enemy.

     

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You don't think this is my real name do you?

      No, this is the name of my mortal enemy

      Fscker! Don't think can't I find out your REAL name!

      -- Colin Smith

  • If you're job searching and you're not smart enough to consider your online profile an extension of your resume, you're not that bright.

    Of course they don't want to hire you then.

  • Would you want to hire someone dumb enough to admit being an idiot on Facebook? For that matter, would you want to hire anyone dumb enough to BE on Facebook in the first place?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by onion2k (203094)

      I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site. It's about the only real proof you can have that someone isn't the sort of person who has nothing in their life besides work. I don't want that sort of person on my team. They're horrible to work with. I want people who socialise - not necessarily with me - but with someone.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by veeoh (444683)

        yup - although I have rejected because of odd FB profiles, about 80% of our candidates from the last trawl we did were on FB and were perfectly normal..

      • by hiryuu (125210) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:06PM (#24968739)

        I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site. It's about the only real proof you can have that someone isn't the sort of person who has nothing in their life besides work.

        There are two minor flaws that I can see with this application of that line of reasoning. One is that there are plenty of socially active people who don't bother with social networking sites, and plenty of avenues to be social that have no reflection in those sites. The second is that a Facebook or Myspace page isn't "proof," in that it wouldn't take much to make a fake page that passes at least cursory inspection.

        That said, I can't disagree with your sentiment about wanting social people in general as part of your team.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dedazo (737510)

        That's a pretty narrow view, considering there are other, more time-tested ways to socialize.

        I suppose it depends on the position you're hiring for. I usually tend to frown on developers who don't have a web presence in the form of a blog with technical content and what not. Comments on technical forums or even USENET posts are always good. However, the lack of that presence does not necessarily translate into immediate dismissal, there are many other factors, obviously like the ability to ace a technical i

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zookie (136959)

        "Interesting" is the right moderation here... As in "Interesting that someone would be so close-minded as to require prospective employees to be on a social networking site." I realize this is Slashdot, but if you'd step away from your computer for a little bit, you'd realize there are plenty of ways to socialize without being on a social network. Such as, I dunno, hanging out with your friends, belonging to your local church, volunteering with civic organizations, participating in a local sports league,

  • ...though I haven't been privy to what was found, I have been part of several interview processes where we didn't extend an offer, and the reason given was "we found something on their [social networking site/personal site/online postings] that was bad." I have to assume that it was nothing more than typical college-kid party stuff, particularly given how conservative people around most corporate environments can be.

  • Like

    *candidate's screen name was unprofessional
    so what what gives you the right to look in to non work web posts will do the same looking in to my life out side of work when I am on the job?

    *communication skills on web forums, chat rooms, person web sites and so on.
    is not the same as in office communication skills

    site conveyed a professional image vs unprofessional.
    But you should not trun people down based on a site that WAS NOT MEANT to be a professional one.

    qualifications is a other thing where 2 WAY bloa

  • by Zerth (26112) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:52PM (#24968557)

    It helps me avoid the bad ones and possibly increase my chances with the ones I want.

    One interview I casually mentioned seeing a really good performance by a local violin player. I hadn't actually gone, just read a review. I didn't mention I knew she was his daughter, either(she'd married, so different last name). I found that after googling him and finding it in the "thanks" section of her website. That got us to talking about classical music, music magnet schools, etc. After we "shared a common interest", I was a shoe-in compared to the rest of the candidates.

    Fortunately, I don't work there anymore and he's since retired:) I did actually listen to some of his daughter's stuff, later, and she /is/ a good violin player.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by VeNoM0619 (1058216)

      One interview I casually mentioned seeing a really good performance by a local violin player. I hadn't actually gone, just read a review. I didn't mention I knew she was his daughter

      Nice way to game the system, and why can't this work in reverse? Time to make my facebook profile... let's see...

      Currently: Helping with world hunger, developing several open source projects, researching the cure for AIDS, loved my previous coworkers and employers....What else? I want to be a shoe in for any job.

  • Ouch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:54PM (#24968589)
    The only thing I mind them finding is them finding out that I'm much more interested in software engineering when I'm applying for junior sysadmin jobs. Them knowing that is a sure way for me to never get called for an interview.
  • by Korey Kaczor (1345661) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:02PM (#24968683)
    How's the googling going? I hope you like reading my slashdot posts. And if you have karma, mod my posts up, too. In addition to hiring me with a nice fat salary.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:35PM (#24969191)

    Good, they'd be doing me a favour - I clearly wouldn't be a good personality fit. Yes, I drink - I'm 34 years old, and I can do what I damn well please in my spare time, thank you very much. As long as it doesn't impair my ability to work or bring the company into disrepute, it's none of their business what I do.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:55PM (#24969547) Homepage Journal

    Seriously who uses their real name?

    Oh wait I know this....yeah 20-something slacktards, stoners, jocks and sundry assholes.

  • by kadehje (107385) <erick069@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:23PM (#24969987) Homepage

    Stuff about applicants' off-hours activities should not be a factor in employment decisions. Unless there's concern for libel of previous employers or detailed nonpublic technical or financial information from previous jobs (thus raising legitimate concerns about disclosure of proprietary information) appears on a Facebook or Myspace page, it shouldn't be considered as part of a hiring decision. It doesn't matter for employment whether someone's a partier on the weekends, or which political party he belongs to; if it's not work-related a manager should not be judging his or her employees on this information.

    There needs to be considerably more employee and applicant protections put in place in the U.S. on discrimination based on factors unrelated to job performance. Facebook and Myspace are the least of my worries in this regard; the potential of abuse medical records (presently protected to some extent), credit reports, and criminal records is much greater.

    Medical records should be considered off-limits in regards to hiring, firing, and assignment decisions, period. It's already against the law to discriminate against someone who's blind or requires a wheelchair; it should be against the law to not hire someone for non-obvious medical conditions, such as someone with a history of cancer, or to fire someone because they've had a heart attack or are being treated for a mental disorder.

    Unless a position routinely involves dealing with large amount (thousands or more) of cash or goods easily convertible to cash (e.g. jewelry or casino chips), an employer has no reason to look at one's credit report. Even in these cases where there is a potential of theft to pay debts and it's reasonable to pull a credit check, there need to be strict ground rules in place on what can be considered from that report. Nothing over two years old, and that's being generous, is relevant to one's current financial situation. The fact that employers can and some do refuse to hire someone because of a personal bankruptcy, a home foreclosure, or other financial difficulties up to 10 years old or more is a disgrace. Though not present on a credit report, there are ways of discovering bankruptcies even older than 10 years, and it's common to see questions like "Have you EVER declared bankruptcy?" on employment application.

    And the check of criminal records is an abuse that the government can very easily rein in for most crimes that don't garner press coverage. Why should someone who completed a jail sentence 5 or 10 years ago for drug possession and has remained clean ever since or while drunk got out of control and ended up with an assault and battery have to be continually haunted by such a mistake? Once someone's served a setence for a crime, that person should be entitled to another chance to become a productive member of society without artificial barriers to success. While it's reasonable for a DA's office or the courts to check someone's priors for the purpose of determining appropriate punishment for an offense, there's no reason it's relevant for an employer that an applicant broke the law in his past. Marginalizing felons and other criminals can lead to further crimes; if someone's mistake dooms them to a McJob for a long time, they may very well be tempted to enter more lucrative and illegal operations. If someone's currently on probation or parole for an offense, that's reasonable to consider. However once the sentence is done, the record on for charge should be sealed to all except for those in the courts with a need to know.

    To those who say don't post to Myspace, Facebook, or any other site, that's a reasonable start. But what happens if you decide to go to a friend's wild party and your name and a questionable photo (even if it's just a beer can in your hand and some empties around) pops up on that friend's site when a company does a web search on you? Or you decide to campaign for someone opposing the candidate whom your employer endorsed (and possibly contributed to) and show up as a point of contact for that campaign? There's only so much you can do to limit your web presence, and the only way to keep abuse from happening is to say that one's personal life is off-limits. All of it.

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